How do I Install a Heat Reclaimer on a Wood Stove?

Written by david reber
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How do I Install a Heat Reclaimer on a Wood Stove?
A heat reclaimer can increase the efficiency of an older stove. (Old Stove and Antique Chair image by bawinner from Fotolia.com)

A heat reclaimer is designed to capture some of the heat from the flue gases on a wood stove and return it to the room rather than let it escape up the chimney. Typical models are installed within the stove pipe between the stove and the chimney. Most consist of air passages that extend through the stove pipe and a fan or blower motor to move heated air from within these passages into the room. Heat reclaimers can be installed with a few simple hand tools.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Adjustable-length stove pipe section(s), as needed
  • Screwdriver
  • Sheet metal screws, at least three per pipe connection

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove the attaching screws from the top section of stove pipe where it connects to the chimney, and also from the bottom end of that section. Remove the top section of stove pipe.

  2. 2

    Disconnect additional sections of stove pipe, working down toward the stove, until reaching the desired position for the heat reclaimer.

  3. 3

    Install the heat reclaimer on top of the remaining stove pipe section and secure it with at least three sheet metal screws, or follow the manufacturer's instructions for securing the reclaimer.

  4. 4

    Reinstall sections of the stove pipe, as applicable to your system set-up, until only one length is required to reach the chimney connection. Use at least three screws at each junction.

  5. 5

    Install an adjustable length of stove pipe to connect the pipe system to the chimney. Secure with at least three screws.

Tips and warnings

  • The heat reclaimer pipe diameter must match your stove pipe.
  • Always connect stove pipe sections with the crimped ends down to allow creosote to drip back into the stove.
  • Heat reclaimers result in cooler flue gases, thus increasing creosote deposits. Be sure to keep your chimney clean for safety. You will also need to clean creosote from inside the reclaimer itself. The horizontal air passages commonly develop creosote deposits as the surrounding flue gases cool.

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